Act for the Green Transition – Gamification for Sustainability

Tarantola Stefano, Contini Stefania, Richard Alice, Ferretti Federico, Castelletta Roberto, De Ambrosis Lorenzo


Science of motivation, engagement, entertainment, serious issues

Abstract: The urgency to tackle the global climate crisis and the steep rise in energy costs have accelerated the European Commission plans to reach corporate climate neutrality by 2030. The European Green Deal and the recent adoption of the Greening the Commission Communication and Action Plan prove this commitment.
Though a more sustainable use of energy is crucial to fulfil the European Green Deal’s commitment to accomplish the clean energy transition and reach corporate climate neutrality, this cannot be pursued without the active involvement of citizens.
The European Commission’s JRC Living Lab for testing Digital Energy Solutions has been addressing this challenge by researching and testing a gamification approach at one of its sites in Ispra, Italy, where collected energy consumption data highlighted the potential to improve energy use on site.
To this purpose, an online interactive gamification experience, called the Energy Dream Team (EDT), was co-created and developed over one year, and piloted at the Ispra site during October – December 2021. 

Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Needs of Food Living Labs in Urban Food System Transformation

Sanna Luoto, Jonathan Luger, Ella Kallio, Tuija Heikkilä, Mikael Lindell, Reetta Kivelä Mari Sandell, Marjoleine Van der Meij


Living lab, food service, food system, sustainability

Abstract: Previous living lab literature dealing with food system sustainability mainly focuses on production, agri-food systems or the food-water-energy nexus. More attention should be paid to food culture, individual food consumption preferences and acceptance of certain foods (e.g. novel plant-based ingredients) when studying possibilities of living labs to advance food system sustainability transformation. Due to high volume of business and daily served meals, the food service industry has a critical role in a transition to sustainable diets by. Venues where meals are served and consumed are a noteworthy interface to introduce sustainable food and eating solutions. In this study we aim to identify the potential challenges and needs perceived at two living labs on food service environments in Finland together with their quintuple helix actors. Findings will be based on thematic interviews and participatory focus group discussions. With this research study we pursue to scientific understanding of food system living labs, expanding from agri-food context towards consumers and citizens, their food choices, preferences and eating experience.

Building Climate Resilience in Coastal City Living Labs using Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A Systematic Review

Ananya Tiwari; Dr. Luis Campos; Dr. Frances Lucy; Dr. Salem Gharbia


Ecosystem-Based Adaptation; Nature-Based Solutions; Living Labs; Coastal Climate Change; Socio-economic; Stakeholder.

Abstract: Climate change leads to an unequivocal rise in the intensity and frequency of natural disasters. This necessitates mainstreaming of climate adaptation strategies in the global movement on climate action. Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) has become popular as an effective means of climate adaptation, which can be resilient and flexible compared to hard engineering-based measures. However, ecosystem-based approaches in disaster risk reduction still remain under-researched despite their growing popularity. This study delves into the utility of EBA in the context of the living lab, using a PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) based Systematic Literature Review. A living lab (LL) is a participatory tool invented to foster innovation through real-life testing environments, such as individual cities. This study focuses on European coastal regions, as these are both highly populated and vulnerable to climate change impacts such as sea-level rise, storms, flooding and erosion. This study identified multiple synergies between the EBA concepts, living lab and disaster-risk reduction and concludes that EBA schemes can be highly effective in the living lab set-up. It also demonstrates that increased stakeholder engagement and the consideration of socio-economic co-benefits as part of the EBA-LL model can lead to successful disaster risk reduction.

Urban Living Labs between theory and practice: a dialectal reading towards a hybrid model for value creation

Nurhan Abujidi, Stefano Blezer and Herwin Sap.


Urban Living Labs, Hybrid Model, Value Creation.

Abstract: This paper aims at understanding ULLs from practice perspective in reference to different forms and theories on ULLs in literature. By doing so we can revisit and add to the theory and methodology of ULLs. The paper is based on comparison of three ULLs established in three cities in south Limburg in the Netherlands. First, it is noticed from the experiences developed in the three ULLs that applying ULL theory and methodology is not one to one as context challenges are crucial to be adapted to. Second, experiences show the need for new evaluation criteria for the process and value creation/impacts of ULLs. In this paper, we suggest the cyclical hybrid performance model consisting of the ULLs’ level of maturity, type of end product and impacts and values created or destroyed and by the placemaking processes itself. The paper concludes with new insights that adds to the understanding of ULL practice. 

Sustainability and Smart Cities: Codesigning Communication Tools for an Inclusive Community

Justin McPhee, Simon Ravenhill, Katherine Plunkett, Simone Taffe, Sonja Pedell, Laura Baker


Codesign, interaction design, inclusive design, communication design, sustainability, multi-cultural contexts, communication of tacit knowledge, visual imagery for communication

Abstract: In our case study with the City of Casey’s Living Lab, we explored the value of sustainable image prompts in 2 codesign workshops with culturally and linguistically diverse people. Three major findings were revealed: We found that participants kept discussions focused on the chosen image prompts suggesting designers need to pay careful consideration of image prompts in codesign activities. We found that image prompts revealed that people hold onto items they are attached to, even when they became worn and tattered, suggesting designers can consider including sentimental value in design solutions for sustainable ends. We found that image prompts reduced language misunderstandings between participants and disengagement with the activity, revealing the value in emphasising images over discussion with linguistically and culturally diverse people in codesign activities. We argue image prompts are valuable in codesign activities as they reduce verbal communication, creating enhanced engagement and deeper understanding of a topic especially where participants don’t share the same language and/or cultural background. We caution codesigners to choose image prompts wisely as participant are fixated on the image in their discussions. We were surprised to learn sentimentality was an important factor for people on the topic of waste. Designers can learn from our lessons that including a sentimental value in the design of objects will appeal to people and may reduce waste in society.

Multi Agent System to design permeable cities for butterflies

Angeli M., Calabrese S., Arduino A., Bonelli S., Bortolasi M., Destefanis M., Edera A., Maggiora M., Piccini I.


Pollinator mobility; Nature-Based solutions; Urban mobility; Urban green areas; Multi agent system.

Abstract: Conserving biodiversity is a major 21st-century challenge, especially within urban areas. Indeed, cities are not planned to support biodiversity but a suitable management could sustain biodiversity. Butterflies are good bioindicator insect groups to understand possible mobility of pollinators. Thus, movement data of cabbage butterflies have been collected in Turin: 1019 butterflies have been marked and released and 465 events of recapture observed. In a multidisciplinary approach a team of biologists and physicists is trying to exploit such data in order to train a Multi Agent System (MAS), modeling known behavioral patterns of butterflies and their mobility. When validated, such a MAS could provide useful hints to policy makers and city managers suggesting those topologies and characteristics of green areas maximizing the permeability for butterflies of a green city. Every city could become a living lab in which new data from butterflies’ mobility could act as a feedback of green areas planning and deployment, driving corrections and further deployments. 

Living lab research designs in Circular Economy projects: A multiple case study

Teemu Santonen Aletta Purola


Circular economy; research design; circular economy business model; co-creation; concept test; pilot test; innovation management process; case study; circular economy value chain

Abstract: Living lab approach has been suggested as a promising approach for co-creating and testing CE Business Models (CEBMs) in real-life settings with real end-users. However, in-depth analysis of living lab research designs in the context of circular economy projects are somewhat uncharted. European Commission H2020 funded project CIRC4Life, developing and demonstrating CEBMs in four industrial sectors, provided data for this multiple case study. Qualitative document analysis, interviews and an action research approach were applied to (1) identify living lab activities and map them (2) across the CE value chain and (3) innovation process phases at the project level and in five case companies. Key findings include (1) identification of the seven main method choices, (2) individual living lab activity tendency to address more than one CE phase at the same time, (3) devoting most efforts into very beginning and the end of the innovation process, and (4) three quarters of living lab activities grounded on single Quadruple Helix (QH) group and (5) dominant share of real end-user’s representatives over other QH stakeholders. To conclude living lab research design choices are influenced by many factors, although some similarities were observed between case companies.